The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk

hidden mesothelioma risk

Occupational health researchers in Italy say asbestos exposure in agricultural products and equipment may present a hidden mesothelioma risk for farm workers.  The study appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  Agriculture is not an industry typically associated with asbestos exposure. But the new study suggests that there may be more of this hidden mesothelioma risk on farms than previously thought.  Occupational Mesothelioma Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is an occupational disease. Most people diagnosed with this rare cancer worked in an industry that used asbestos. The longer and heavier the exposure, the higher the risk for mesothelioma.  Asbestos was mostly a hidden mesothelioma risk until the 1950s. Mining companies produced asbestos for many industries. The construction industry … Continue reading Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk »

Early Mesothelioma Deaths a “Proxy” for Childhood Asbestos Exposure in Italy

asbestos exposure

A new study out of Italy is a sobering reminder of the devastating effects of early asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is rare in people under 50. But  the new study found about 35 Italians under 50 died of mesothelioma every year from 2003 to 2016. The highest number of deaths were among people from Northern industrialized parts of the country. These are the people most likely to experience environmental asbestos exposure as children.  The researchers say these early deaths indicate the toxicity of the environment in these regions – particularly to those who grew up there.  The Link Between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer of internal membranes. It was almost unheard of before industrialization. Many … Continue reading Early Mesothelioma Deaths a “Proxy” for Childhood Asbestos Exposure in Italy »

Asbestos-Containing Cosmetics Removed From Retail Websites

asbestos-containing cosmetics

Amazon and Ebay are the latest retailers to remove a list of asbestos-containing cosmetics from their sites after warnings from the Environmental Working Group. Asbestos can cause lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and other serious health issues. The EWG says tests by Scientific Analytical Institute found asbestos-tainted talc in three of 21 cosmetic products. The asbestos–containing cosmetics include two eye shadow collections and one toy makeup kit for children.  The scientific journal Environmental Health Insights recently published the EWG’s report. It is the latest in a growing body of research on the prevalence of asbestos contamination in personal care products.  Asbestos Contamination in Talc Most asbestos-containing cosmetics are made with talc. Talc is a soft, powdery mineral. Its moisture-absorbing properties make … Continue reading Asbestos-Containing Cosmetics Removed From Retail Websites »

Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type

asbestos raises mesothelioma risk

A new report led by the National Cancer Institute offers further evidence that every type of asbestos raises mesothelioma risk.  Scientists have known since the 1950s that asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. But some have argued that not all types of asbestos are equally dangerous. The new study refutes that idea. Researchers compared outcomes from people exposed to different kinds of asbestos. They conclude that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk, regardless of type.  Asbestos as a Carcinogen Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It has to be mined from the ground. Asbestos is strong, cheap, and impervious to heat and chemical erosion. It was a popular additive to many products before doctors realized that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk. The most … Continue reading Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds

asbestos affects immunity

A new report from Japanese doctors shows that asbestos affects immunity. It may help explain why exposure to asbestos can trigger mesothelioma. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. But doctors still do not know for sure how this fibrous mineral causes cancer.  Scientists know that inflammation and irritation have something to do with mesothelioma development. But they still do not know much about how asbestos affects immunity. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Development Asbestos is a silicate mineral that lies deep in the ground. For decades, people mined asbestos for use in various industries. Nearly every building in the US built before the mid-1980s contains some asbestos. But asbestos is also a carcinogen. Even small amounts of asbestos exposure … Continue reading Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds »

Italian Case Illustrates Unusual Way of Tracking Asbestos Exposure

tracking asbestos exposure

After a mysterious cluster of mesothelioma cases cropped up among Italian textile workers, researchers found an unusual way of tracking asbestos exposure. Asbestos is the main cause of malignant mesothelioma. Many mesothelioma patients came in contact with asbestos at work. But it is not always clear how it happened.   Mesothelioma legal cases often hinge on tracking asbestos exposure at a negligent company. But in the case of the Italian textile workers, the exposure was not obvious. The workers produced sewing threads. They did not work directly with asbestos. It was not until an abatement company started removing asbestos from the plant, that researchers got a clearer picture of why the workers got sick.  The Challenge of Tracking Asbestos Exposure Asbestos … Continue reading Italian Case Illustrates Unusual Way of Tracking Asbestos Exposure »

Odds of Surviving Mesothelioma Equal in Rural and Urban Australia

odds of surviving mesothelioma

Living in a city and having a better socioeconomic status does not necessarily increase the odds of surviving mesothelioma.  That is the message from a 15-year Australian study of more than 300,000 cancer patients.  Some studies suggest cancer survival rates are lower in rural areas. But that does not appear to be the case for mesothelioma in Australia.  Unfortunately, the odds of surviving mesothelioma remain low no matter where a person lives. The Legacy of Asbestos in Australia Australia used to mine and export more asbestos than any other country. The mineral has been banned there since 2003, but Australian mesothelioma rates are still among the highest in the world.  Asbestos fibers are biopersistent. Once they are embedded in the … Continue reading Odds of Surviving Mesothelioma Equal in Rural and Urban Australia »

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